The Show Must Go On

Makayla Voris

With school pressing forward in an online environment, the choir and acting classes/clubs are taking a little longer to get back to the stage. So far, practices and learning have been online, but students are starting to miss their in-person communities. 

Students aren’t the only ones missing in-person, their teachers are, too! Myriah Araiza, the new acting teacher, said she views community as a vital part of making a performance work. The planning of after-school events, Drama Club and Improv Troupe, have proven difficult, as interactive acting games are a central part of the experience. Araiza said that she has had to encourage herself to be flexible. 

“How do we keep people safe and still get to do fun stuff? How do we plan shows that can’t be cancelled? How and where can we rehearse/perform? A lot of creativity has gone into answering these questions,” said Araiza. 

Creatively addressing classes has become second-nature across the board for fine arts, especially in choir. Junior Isabel Meyers said that choir has proven easier than her core classes, but warm-up activities are difficult

“We’ve decided to focus a lot on sight-reading, which is easier to do individually,” remarked Meyers. 

Timothy Hercules, the choir director, said that he sees virtual learning as a unique opportunity to focus on individual learning that will make the group sound better. Still, Hercules revealed that both he and his students are missing an in-person experience. 

 “By allowing us to Zoom, we can check up on people, but not in the best way… Choir is a safe space, but it might be hard to maintain that safety over Zoom. I still want kids to feel safe expressing themselves in my classes,” explained Hercules. 

Both Araiza and Hercules have their students’ safety in mind, especially when it comes to planning in-person performances. In order to do this, fine arts has turned the fall musical into a virtual theatrical showcase! The showcase will only host an in-person cast and show a live feed to audiences for three nights to follow district guidelines. However, this is a far cry from returning back to normal, as choir students are unsure when their groups will perform and acting students wonder if they’ll be able to participate in a spring play. 

“Having a live audience is part of the fun of performing,” said Isabel Myers.  

Although students understand why precautions are being taken and agree with them, virtual performances won’t make up for the real thing. 

“I hope that the showcase can make up for what we’re missing,” agreed Arden Stout, a junior involved in Acting Three and Drama Club.